WIESBADEN, GERMANY -- September 11th, 2001 started like any other Tuesday but would soon go down as a day of infamy for the United States. On that day, the actions of a terrorist group changed the country forever. Individuals associated with Al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger aircraft, each with its own designated target, aiming to cripple the United States of America. Three of the four planes managed to strike the intended targets, spreading fear across the nation and around the world. A few selfless individuals gave their lives to save many others by retaking control of the fourth plane, crashing it into a Pennsylvania farm field. Around 3,000 lives were lost on the day of these attacks; the terrorists taking lives indiscriminately, including those of the nation’s first responders.
In remembrance of those who lost their lives, Wiesbaden High School and Middle School came together on the 10th of September 2021 to honor the 20th anniversary of the attacks. Throughout the memorial service, the Warrior Battalion stood in formation as students and teachers from both schools gathered in solemn commemoration. The ceremony began with the Warrior Battalion Color Guard presenting the colors. Honors to the nation were provided by the Wiesbaden High School honor band under the direction of Mr. Andrew Goldie.
Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Ella Griffin, Commander of the Warrior Battalion, introduced the speakers.
Wiesbaden Middle School Principal, Ms. Tobias, was the first to speak. She remarked that this unique community is very strong and resilient and events like this 9/11 Ceremony unite us even more.
The second speaker was the Wiesbaden High School principal, Dr. Ramaglia. Her remarks captured the emotions of twenty years ago and those feelings that continue to linger while expressing hope for the future. “On this day, we reflect on the events that transpired on September 11, 2011 and we grieve together, we mourn together, and most of all we remember together. We remember those we lost, those who are still struggling in the aftermath, and everyone in our communities that sacrifice in support of protecting our country’s freedoms. On this day in 2021, it is even more necessary for us to unite as Americans and as a Wiesbaden Community.” She continued, “as we reflect on our history and what makes us truly special as a people I hope we all remember to show each other kindness and grace.”
Wiesbaden High School Army JROTC Senior Army Instructor, Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Jon Ring concluded the speeches, “ In my life, I have had the awesome opportunity to walk in the footsteps of giants - heroes - American and Allied - who, for the 20 years since 9/11 have voluntarily stood in the gap for our freedom and liberty. They have collectively held the enemy at bay and prevented any spectacular event from occurring on the American shores again. We have lost many and even more carry the scars of battle - some visible and some invisible. We owe them a debt of gratitude and - I hope - all of them know that their efforts were just and their service honorable. I thank God every day for people who are willing to serve.”
Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Ella Griffin asked everyone in attendance to observe a brief moment of silence in remembrance of those lost on 9/11 and those who have been lost in our efforts to bring freedom and liberty to others in the 20 years since. At the conclusion of the moment of silence, the colors were retired. This brief 20 minute ceremony assisted all in attendance to honor the valor and sacrifice of another year since the United States was pulled headfirst into a new era of history 20 years ago.